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Mobile number thief detained

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 18: Cuttack-Bhubaneswar police have detained one person on allegations of forging documents to steal a mobile phone number owned by an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and selling it to a businessman.

The special squad of the city police picked the man, identified as Dolagobind Sethi, 32, from Kendrapara last night and is questioning him. A senior police officer said that Sethi had stolen the mobile number of the IPS officer who had earlier served as the superintendent of police of Kendrapara and was currently on central deputation.

The police have not revealed the names of either the IPS officer or the businessman because investigation is on.

The businessman who purchased this number from Sethi for Rs 20,000 had been instructed by an astrologer to procure a lucky number that ended with five 7s. The businessman approached Sethi, who promised him one such number.

“Sethi chose the police officer’s number thinking he would not know about it since he was away from the district. The accused lodged a missing complaint of his mobile phone and mentioned the VIP number as his own. With the received copy of the complaint, he managed to block the number and transfer its ownership to the desired person,” said a police officer of the special squad.

After getting the number changed, Sethi changed his service provider and then handed it over to the businessman.

When the IPS officer got to know that his mobile phone number had been transferred to someone else, he informed the Bhubaneswar police. With the help of the Kendrapara police, the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar police caught Sethi.

“We took the businessman into confidence and reached Sethi through him,” said an officer of Pattamundai police station.

Police sources said they were questioning Sethi to know more about his activities. Besides, they were also investigating the role of the staff of the mobile service providing companies, because, it would not be easy for an outsider to change the ownership of the number without their help.

Special squad inspector Alok Jena said Sethi had been detained for questioning.

“We are investigating the case,” he said.